28 March was an amazing day for Codarts, its students and for Rotterdam. Our 1000-student conservatoire in collaboration with De Doelen took over the whole of De Doelen complex for the day and put on 86 performances of extraordinary diversity. Why take on such a venture? The reason is to demonstrate what Codarts believes in being an arts organisation that is committed to excellence in diversity, to reaching out to as many sectors of society as possible and to attracting the most diverse audiences. Consequently Circus shows went along with Jazz (Trying LIndy Hop), World Music (Trying Tango, Trying Flamenco), Dance events (Tiger, Trance and Stonehenge), Classical Music (Dance with Bach and Gran Partita) and Musical Theatre (Musical in Concert). Collaborations included dance with organ (Tanz Toccata), Turkish and Classical instruments playing together and Amadigi Remixed, Handel’s magnificent opera retold with Pop and Classical musicians working together. Student pitches enabled students to promote their own work (Challenging Spaces, Please don’t bring lemons) and a Young Talent Orchestra (mainly ages 14 to 19) gave a good account of Beethoven’s First Symphony.

For De Doelen, the Big Day was an important part of its policy to widen its audience base, to work with education organisations and especially with Codarts Rotterdam and to continue to dedelop its creative thinking for the future. For Codarts, the whole organisation improved its communications and its ability to work together across all departments.

So, with application numbers for Codarts sharply rising and with the increasing level that goes with this, Codarts will continue to think in this broad and creative way. Yes, we stand for the highest of standards but also for the bravest of artsitic intentions. That’s why young performing artists want to come to Codarts. Let’s see what we can achieve next time – in the Big Day 2017!

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